Scouting notes: 2023 QAFLW Grand Final – QLD representatives

BOND University produced an impressive win over Aspley Hornets off the back of some individual brilliance of Queensland state representatives to take home the 2023 QAFL Women’s premiership. We took a look at the seven players from Bond University and one from Aspley who took to the field in the grand final.


#4 Tara Harrington

One of the standouts through the middle who also played up forward, Harrington showed her hard running capacity across the course of the game. In particular her second half was a standout, kicking two goals, including one on the run in the third quarter while shrugging off a would-be tackler, and another from a set shot late in the game. Able to use both sides of her body effectively, Harrington recorded 13 disposals, two marks, three clearances, five inside 50s and six tackles.

#8 Ella Calleja

Thought not winning a lot of it with just the five touches, Calleja was effective with ball-in-hand, hitting four of her five kicks in the game. She kicked a nice goal on the verge of half-time after a clean mark, with a second chance early in the fourth term just missing to the right.

#18 Ava Usher

The second best on the ground, Usher was ruthless in her attack on the ball and opponent, booting three goals, and could have had even more. She missed an opportunity early in the game after bursting away, then hit the scoreboard after a free kick for copping a push in the back. She nailed that one, and would go on to kick another major in both the third and fourth terms, with her third goal a classy finish on the run. Her tenacity to lay bone-crunching tackles, and then determination to burn-off opponents was on display, finishing with 18 disposals, six clearances, four inside 50s, six tackles and three goals playing midfield and forward.

#26 Nyalli Milne

The electric speedster was not always as efficient with ball-in-hand, but her impact on the game was undeniable. She kicked two goals from 13 touches, taking three marks and also laying two tackles. Milne kicked her first major from point blank range after copping a late push on the boundary line going for goal, then doubled up in the final term slotting the opening goal of the last quarter. Her work rate – which included not just the tackles but a smother and pressure acts as well – caught the eye in the forward half.

#32 Josie McCabe

The Queensland skipper worked hard all game and got reward for effort in the second term by slotting a goal. In typical McCabe style, she had the ball at half-forward and nailed a pass inside 50 to Harris. She then ran to the goalsquare, and in the next marking contest received a free kick, slotting the goal from 15m out. Her pressure around the ground was superb, and from her eight disposals, she went at 75 per cent efficiency, laying three tackles and earning four free kicks.

#49 Kiara Bischa

Playing in defence, Bischa did not have a great deal to do, but still stepped up and had her moments. She often cleared the ball to safety and used it well by foot, running at 100 per cent kicking efficiency. She also took a great intercept mark at half-forward early in the game holding a high line, but knew when to get back and provide support deep in defence.

#63 Havana Harris

The top pick for next year added to her decorated trophy cabinet with not just a premiership medallion but the best on ground medal as well. Along with her AFL Women’s Under 18s Championships MVP and All-Australian honours, Harris continued that form with an outstanding 19-disposal, 19-hitout game. She played through the ruck and worked hard around the ground, also resting forward to be a leading target. Harris laid five tackles and had six clearances and seven inside 50s to do it all, with her one goal coming off a clever snap. She set up McCabe for her goal as well with a kick to the danger zone.


#22 Holly O’Flaherty

The over-age midfielder tried hard throughout the game and won an early clearance via a handball from the stoppage. Unfortunately like many of the Hornets, they were unable to turn the tide in their favour. Still, she finished with an overall kicking efficiency of 60 per cent, as well as two clearances, three tackles and two inside 50s.

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